Cycling New Zealand has named a strong young National team for this week’s New Zealand Cycle Classic in Wairarapa. The Cycling New Zealand national team has an average of just 22 years, with all five riders with professional road race experience.
The team comprises Hamish Schreurs, Brad Evans, Luke Mudgway, James Oram and Hayden McCormick.
The 30th instalment of the UCI 2.2 category event comprises 671kms over five stages from 22 to 26 January.
Schreurs, 22, from Christchurch, is a two-time national under-23 road race champion who this year joins the Israel Cycling Academy, which is a new Pro Continental team with significant backing and ambition. He was outstanding in 2016, finishing third in the Paris-Roubaix Under-23 and won on general classification in the Carpathian Couriers Under-23.
Evans, who rode for Drapac professional team in 2016, was fourth at the national road race, and last year won stages at both the New Zealand Cycle Classic and Tour of Korea.
Oram, who rides for ONE Pro Cycling in Europe, was fourth in the time trial at the national championships and was a double stage winner in the New Zealand Cycle Classic in both 2014 and 2015.
Te Awamutu’s McCormick is a teammate of Oram at ONE Pro Cycling, and enjoyed a strong 2016 with victory in the Ronde van Midden and twice led in the young rider category in the Sibiu Tour.
Mudgway, a member of Cycling New Zealand high performance endurance track squad, won a stage of the Tour of China with Avanti IsoWhey last year.
“This is an important tour for cycling in New Zealand and a tour we continue to support,” said Cycling New Zealand’s Graeme Hunn. “We have selected a strong young group of riders, all with professional experience and I expect they will definitely play an animated part in the tour.”
Race director Jorge Sandoval rates the team very highly and expect them to have a good tour. “These are the new breed of road riders in New Zealand, they have lots of experience in other events around the world and if a New Zealand rider is going to win the NZCC, on paper should be someone from this team,” Sandoval said.